Controversial Catwalk: Comme des Garçons ‘Sleep’ collection, 1995

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


In 1995, Comme des Garçons provoked controversy with a collection featuring distressed fabric that bore faded boot prints, along with loose-fitting loungewear of blue and white striped cotton. Although Rei Kawakubo herself denied any intentional reference to the Holocaust, audiences saw the boot prints as references to bodies trampled underfoot, the vertically striped pajamas as imitations of those worn by concentration camp inmates. Large, “meaningless” numbers, printed onto hems, seemed to invite association with the depersonalization of concentration camp inmates. Kawakubo withdrew the collection from sale, but could not stem the tide of media criticism.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationBloomsbury Fashion Central
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Come des Garcos
  • Rei Kawakubo
  • controversy
  • Holocaust
  • stripes


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